ISIL, Ramadi and What it Means

Blog Post
We watched Ramadi fall to ISIS on prime time (and well within the 24 hour news cycle). The images of first-class American military equipment abandoned in its sheds and in military bases provide demonstrative evidence of failed policies and programs by multiple governments. Iraq is not Vietnam and the analogy ends with the images of trained and equipped forces running away. But the images resonate with the American psyche all the same.

A Mother’s Thoughts

This week we saw President Obama giving a speech at the US Coast Guard Academy, stridently warning that climate change was America’s biggest military threat. Obama needs to crawl back under his rock in Chicago. He and SECSTATE Hillary R. Clinton, presidential aspirant, made sure that Iraq would stay broken. They succeeded.
While I do not think that the ISIL movement in Iraq is “our war”, we need to follow what is happening because it has much broader implications than a bunch of ‘earth boys’ running, gunning, and beheading in Iraq.

ISIL in Anbar Province/Governate is on the cusp of two threats. The most immediate is the violent breakup of Iraq as a result of fragmentation. Except for a few pockets of bypassed pro-government soldiers, the Islamic State has carved out a Sunni Arab canton in western Iraq. Fragmentation is always centrifugal. Thus in one scenario the Islamic State could make Ramadi a sub-regional power center that challenged Baghdad. 

If the Islamic State does no more than consolidate control of Anbar, it will complete the de facto fragmentation of Iraq. 
The Kurds already have their quasi-autonomous region. The Shiite Arabs have what is left. The one of conflict tends to focus on the northern oil fields and infrastructure, for now at least.
The second dimension of violent threat is centripetal, meaning the capture of Baghdad which constitutes the center of power of Iraq. The Islamic State shows no signs of consolidating its victory at Ramadi. Its forces are too few to build defenses. Their local commanders recognize that the best defense is a good offense, exploiting their forces’ mobility and the panic of the Iraqi government forces.

In this pursuit and exploitation phase, ISIL must take Habbaniyah, which remains in Iraqi government (Shiite) hands. If they bypass it and press the pursuit they might reach the outskirts of Baghdad if they can run the Iraqi government forces to ground before Shiite militias gather strength. ISIL will attack and neutralize, if not capture, Baghdad as part of the long range game plan. Otherwise the Islamic State would leave a Shiite rival power center intact. That creates a long term problem for them that they can remedy. The Islamic State does not recognize an entity known as Iraq. 
Iran is watching ISIL very closely. Should Baghdad fall, it would be an opportunity for the Republican Guard to come screaming out of the Iranian highlands and seize the city (on behalf of the displaced Shiite administration). Should that happen, don’t hold your breath waiting for the Iranians to relinquish the city as readily as the United States did. Baghdad will become a satrap of Iran. I say Baghdad because Iraq really only exists on old maps in terms of national boundary.

The country is partitioned based on ethnicity and faith. 

The lesson to the United States is an old one, that we forgot. “Never fight a land war in Asia.”

But…at this point, what difference does it make? – Presidential Aspirant, and architect of Obama’s failed foreign policy, Hillary Clinton

23 thoughts on “ISIL, Ramadi and What it Means

  1. "Their local commanders recognize that the best defense is a good offense, exploiting their forces’ mobility and the panic of the Iraqi government forces"

    just a thought here, but it appears they in fact learned a lesson form history. Hitler and his Blitzkrieg in many ways was baed the same way. Mobility and overwhelm them before they knew what hit them.

  2. I don't know if they study history, however I'm sure that they have learned this from trial and error. Enduring truth is enduring truth from the Great Khans to Commanches to George Patton (who came up with the idea at the same time that Gudarian (Nazis) did.

  3. Are you going to visit the Obama Presidential Library on Chicago's blighted south side? I have heard there will be several basketball courts there (not joking).

  4. I believe that there is weather. And that it changes. That's as close as I can come.

  5. I agree with your picture of the weather. Some of the people tooting about the weather are – unbelievable.

  6. Bodyguards would be recommended as would armored automobiles/busses. Or you can arrive in a helicopter if you're part of the liberal elite.

  7. We're at war. With the weather. That's why it has to be taxed.

    This is "settled science."

    A bit like the Benghazi video.

  8. The mother in that video is amazing and impressive on so many levels.

    And the movement of the Islamic State IS our war. Though, other than donating my money, which I have, I don't know how to fight it.
    I can't say it better than a respected woman does here:

  9. Never fight a land war in Asia, Jenny.

    We have fought four and we're 0-1-3 (no wins, one tie in Korea and three losses). Doubling down and sending troops there where EVERYONE hates us in an environment with dropping some citizen by mistake ends up with a war crimes trial in the US is a losing proposition. If the goal is to sterilize the place (nuke their ass and steal their gas), it might have merit. But we won't do that.

    The Congress overwhelmingly approved harsh interrogation techniques for terrorists after 9.11.01. Today those same legislators want to imprison CIA people for doing what those same legislators told them to do. Riddle me that and then tell me that we should go back in against ISIL.

  10. We have a situation where Secretary Clinton and President Obama screwed up things SO BADLY that fixing it in a way that will secure enduring peace for that region requires extreme measures. America isn't willing to do that. Since that is the case, it is not our war. Not now. And in the politically correct world of the USA where mobs burn and loot and are cheered on by the US President's advisors (Al Sharpton and others) on his behalf – we are in deep trouble at home in many ways.

  11. Tell all that to the 9 year old girls being sold naked in sex slave markets. Go on.

  12. I have no problem sending the US military to rescue sex slaves and I have no problem sending the US military to do a number of things. But fighting to win is important when you are sending people, some of whom will trade their lives for the naked 9 year-old girls.

    Political America voted twice to send a "utopian socialist", son and grandson of communists to the White House twice now. The US did not have a budget for 6 years while Sen. Reid was majority leader. "What is right" in the American psyche is skewed. I don't take issue with your morality but the practicality in this environment where "weather" is a top American military priority is a limiting factor.

  13. My question to you is whether it is worth sacrificing the lives of your two children for the invasion of Iraq (again) and the continued American occupation of Iraq for decades to pacify it. Because there will be a lot of America's sons and daughters and trillions in treasure that will be sacrificed on that altar. Holding Iraq as a distant American Commonwealth would earn the ire of the rest of the world, but that is the only way to stop those injustices. The same is true of every Islamic hell-hole and third world sewer.

    70% of all Egyptian women have their clitoris forcibly removed (female circumcision). In Islamic nations women are ALL treated as chattel. Women are not allowed education, the right to work, the right to vote, etc. To secure those rights for those people, America would need to invade, slaughter and occupy practically forever. Where would you draw the line? Where does the nation's purse end?


    This is a way of life in many Islamic nations – not just under the thumb of ISIL.

  15. …but only slightly less well known is this, never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line, a ha ha ha ha ha, a ha ha ha ha.

  16. You're sick. I'm going to tell Patti to straighten your act out when she sees you.

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